New York Mets News

Baseball Prospectus predicts Mets will finish 82-80 in 2015

By Ryan Punzalan

Baseball Prospectus’ annual PECOTA projections have been released and the Mets are predicted to finish second in the N.L. East with an 82-80 record, behind the Washington Nationals, but ahead of the Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies.

Prior to the release of the projections, many thought that the Mets were an 80-to-82 win team and Baseball Prospectus (BP) also felt that way. Although many agree with the projections, there are some arguable numbers to discuss.

In BP’s analysis (subscription required and highly recommended), a handful of the Mets’ offensive numbers are lower than one might think.

David Wright is projected to have a .427 slugging percentage, about .70 points lower than his career average. Wright has only had two season with a SLG lower than .430: 2011 and 2014, seasons where he battled injuries. There are some concerns that Wright’s numbers will start to decline, but one can argue that it shouldn’t happen this drastically.

Lucas Duda is also predicted to have a surprisingly low SLG. Last year, Duda carried an impressive .481 SLG to go along with his 30 home runs and 92 RBI. In 2015, BP has him having a .426 SLG, 20 points lower than his career average of .442. With no competition at first base, his numbers should hold, if not improve slightly. A .60 point dip in SLG shouldn’t be expected unless Duda plays through an injury or has an odd regression.

The new addition to the Mets, Michael Cuddyer, is also predicted by BP to have relatively low numbers. A career .466 slugger, BP is projecting Cuddyer to have a .412 SLG in 2015 which would be his lowest since 2008, when he had a .369 SLG during 71 injury-filled games.

Cuddyer experienced an offensive resurgence in Colorado and many expect his numbers to decline as he plays half of his games at Citi Field. Cuddyer had a career .451 SLG in Minnesota and one can expect him to hit around there or slightly lower in Citi Field.

Pitching-wise, the most eye-popping projection goes to Jeurys Familia. Last year, Familia had a 2.21 ERA to go along with 73 SO and 32 BB. This year, BP is projecting Familia to have a 4.05 ERA with 54 SO and 51 BB. This is somewhat surprising because Familia had the fourth lowest FIP of any Mets pitcher last year at 3.04. Again, regression is expected, but not this drastic.

BP seems to feel pretty good about Matt Harvey returning to the Mets rotation. They have Harvey starting 24 games while posting a 2.90 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP, the best out of any projected rotation starter for the Mets.

In the projections, BP lists Noah Syndergaard as a spot starter, with two games started and Rafael Montero as a long relief pitcher with 24 innings pitched. It’ll be interesting to see what ends up happening with these two young arms.

Finally, if WAR is your thing, PECOTA predicts David Wright will have the highest (3.0) on the team, followed by Travis d’Arnaud (2.9), Curtis Granderson (2.5), Daniel Murphy (2.5), Juan Lagares (2.4), and Matt Harvey (2.4.)

Finishing at 82-80 and going by the rest of the team projections, it would appear that the Mets would miss the playoffs by one game. They would need to win at least two games to slide into the Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants. Looking at these projections, you can’t help but think that the Mets are one big piece away from making the playoffs.

We can only wait and hope for the best, right?

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